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Different Representations For Different Readerships: Christianity Reflected

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Chapter Summary

Readers in the early seventeenth century must have immediately recognised the description of inhabitants of the Euphrates region in the De Bry collection as an unmistakable swipe at Catholics: the locals were seen as ?inhabitants, [who] just like the Papists venerate the deceased saints?. While Theodore de Bry co-ordinated the publication of the Benzoni volumes, his sons, in 1596, published as one of their first independent works a book written by the Jesuit Julius Roscius. This volume, published by the two brothers without any reference on the title-page to their father, opened with the successful conversion of the Congolese to Christianity by Catholic visitors from Portugal. The illustrations showing the building of a Christian church, and the ensuing destruction of local, demonic idols were a world away from the anti-Spanish sentiments of the Benzoni volumes finished in the years before.

Keywords: Benzoni volumes; Catholics; Christianity; De Bry collection; demonic idols; early seventeenth century; Euphrates region; Jesuit Julius Roscius; Papists



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